Shrewsbury Town are promoted to League 1

Shrewsbury Town will be playing in League 1 next year despite a final day 3-1 defeat by AFC Wimbledon but that won’t stop the fans celebrating a fantastic season.

Shrewsbury Town will be proud of their season and finished with 88 points

Graham Turner had just won the April manager of the month award and would have been hoping to end the season on a high but it wasn’t to be and he will be looking forward to competing in a higher division next year. He will be proud of his team’s home record this year as they have gone unbeaten and won 18 of their 23 games while only conceding 12 goals. It was their home form that has got them promoted with their away form being slightly inconsistent, only winning eight games and losing 10 of them so if they want to succeed next year and avoid relegation they will need to improve on this, although if they win eight games away from home next year I would expect them to stay up.

But onto the players and they need all the experience they can get as moving up a division is never easy and there could be some strong teams in League 1 next year although the club will be happy that both Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday got promoted. Maybe the fans and players were hoping they would not as they would love to visit those stadiums. But they do have players that have been there and done it before like defender Shane Cansdell-Sheriff who came through the Leeds United academy and went on to play for Tranmere Rovers for a couple of seasons. He has played 36 of their league games this season and his versatility could be very important next season with him able to play at both left back and centre back. Also three goals from him this season have been an added bonus.

Midfielder Nicky Wroe has impressed me whenever I have seen him play this season and I remember him coming through at Barnsley where I thought he would become a mainstay of their side for many years to come especially after playing 35 times for them in the 2004-05 season. But unfortunately it didn’t quite work out for him, so now the 26 year old is working his way back up the leagues and scored four goals in his 37 appearances this season. He can grab a goal from midfield and he may be slightly disappointed with his return but if he gets the chance next season I think he will get a few more goals.

The top scorer James Collins will be looking forward to next season as he has proved that sometimes leaving a Premier League side, in Aston Villa, where he was never going to get a chance and joining a team in the Football League can really kick start your career. He has impressed this season and will be hoping to build on his growing reputation next year and show even more teams they should have took a risk on him.

It will be difficult for Shrewsbury next year but they have the foundations of a good squad as I haven’t even given a mention to winger Mark Wright who can grab goals from the midfield and also Matt Richards who is too good for League 2. Also adding the firepower of Marvin Morgan there is a real chance they will surprise a few teams next season and they have the experience of Graham Turner in charge and he will not allow his team to give up without a fight and will make them battle for every point.

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Portsmouth suffer relegation from the Championship but that is the least of their worries

Portsmouth will be playing their football in League 1 next season if they are able to sort out their financial problems which have dogged the club for years now.

Portsmouth have 40 points from 45 games

It is difficult to talk about Portsmouth without referring to the finances these days and I think that it is very harsh and the media should talk more about their loyal fans and committed staff who continually work through all their problems even when their job is constantly in danger. But let’s just focus on the actual football rather than anything else. Michael Appleton first of all deserves great praise because he has had been very dignified throughout the whole time and without the 10 point deduction they probably would have stayed up comfortably. Although he has only won eight games in charge of Pompey at least he has stayed the course and this is not having a go at Steve Cotterill who was in charge for 61 games. But maybe he should have tried to keep some stability at the club but when a more secure offer comes along, you can’t blame him for taking it.

There is an expected exodus from the club in the summer and some of the players will be missed as they have been great servants for the club. Jason Pearce looks as though he will leave and Leeds United are heavily linked with him at the moment. Even though he has only been at the club for one season he has put his in some brave performances and deserves a lot of praise from the fans and I’m sure they will wish him well in the future. Joel Ward is another that has been linked away from the club, Ipswich Town are chasing him and he will most likely leave. In the last two seasons he has played over 40 games for the club and he has actually benefitted from all their problems and lack of players because it has allowed him to show off his potential and possibly get a move back to the Premier League in the future.

Other players that have been at the club for years have not been as helpful to the club in my opinion because they have huge wages and not really performed when they have had the opportunity. Tal Ben Haim is one of these players because he must still be on a Premier League wage and has played 33 games this season but has he really helped the cause by staying?

One player that has impressed me this season is David Norris who should be a hero to the Pompey fans now after scoring that dramatic equaliser against Southampton which will be one of the high points from this season. He is the top scorer of all the players still at the club and would be a good addition to any team in the Championship next season so they will do well to keep hold of him.

Up front they have not performed that well with Benjani only scoring one goal in his 18 games. Although 12 of his appearances have came from the bench. Kanu also only has one goal in 11 games but yet again most of his appearances have been as a substitute. These players need to leave the club and they have in the past done a very good job for the team but they have should have been let go when all of their problems started and resigning them may have pleased the fans to begin with but they must realise that it is time to move on and start again.

I personally hope that Portsmouth recover because they have such fantastic fans who are very loyal and do not deserve any of this that has happened to them. Some people need to realise that the fans are the most important part of any club and the Portsmouth fans deserve a lot of praise because it would have been easy for them to become disenchanted but they haven’t and still go to Fratton Park optimistic every week that their club will finally turn the corner.